Mateo
Mateo

Mateo

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.mateotapas.com/
  • Phone: 9195308700x
  • Hours of Operation:
    Tuesday - Thursday 11:30 am - 2:30 pm and 5:00 - 10:30 pm; Friday 11:30 am - 2:30 pm and 5:00 pm - 12:00 am; Saturday 5:00 pm - 12:00 am and Sunday 5:00 - 9:30.
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Spanish, Tapas / Small Plates
  • Executive Chef: Matthew Kelly
  • Dress Code: Smart Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Late Night, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine, Wine Bar

Getting there

  • Parking: Public Lot
  • Parking Details: There is a small lot beside our restaurant as well as street parking. There is also a large parking lot located behind Mateo on Ramseur St.
A word from Mateo
Spanish Heart / Southern Soul from the crew at Vin Rouge.
Continued
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Overall
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Ambiance
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
Mateo reviews from OpenTable diners
293 reviews since June 23, 2014
Overall Rating4.5
  • Food4.6
    Service4.3
  • Ambiance4.3
    Noise LevelEnergetic
96% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (245)hot spot (154)special occasion (132)neighborhood gem (110)notable wine list (109)vibrant bar scene (92)good for groups (79)romantic (79)late-night find (40)great for lunch (20)great for brunch (6)scenic view (5)kid-friendly (2)Show More
  • Marym
    Marinemom
    Dined on 10/17/2014
    FANTASTIC FOOD and SERVICE. We have eaten at MATEO's several times since joining DPAC and they NEVER disappoint.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Mateo a MUST!
    betsy989
    Dined on 10/16/2014
    Really loved Mateo. The food, drinks, and service were terrific. The only downside for me was the noise level making hard to hear other people at the table. Don't understand why new restaurants can't do more too lower the noise level.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Love this!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 10/16/2014
    Whenever we come to Durham, we always come to Mateo. The wine list is very interesting and the food is delectable. Makes me wish we lived closer-- I'd be here all the time!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2005
    Dined on 10/16/2014
    Mateo is always good! The food is excellent and there are a lot of fun food options from which to choose.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great for date night
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/16/2014
    Been to Mateo before, first time for lunch... Not a huge variety of opting for lunch, however the dinner menu is awesome!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, hot spot, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A bit of Spain in Durham
    spanishfoodie
    Dined on 10/15/2014
    I lived in Spain for several years and have yearned for the great wine and tapas that I used to enjoy while living there. Mateo brings me back to Spain. The tapas are excellent and authentic. The wine list is great and accessible to all price ranges from ~$26 - >$200 / bottle. They even have sidra (a very Spanish cider).
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Excellent service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 10/14/2014
    We were novices with ordering tapas, but our waitress was patient and helpful. We're heading to Spain next week with some knowledge of how to order there.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, hot spot, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Very nice
    Lezly24
    Dined on 10/14/2014
    Went for interview lunch and enjoyed it very much. Tapas great, service great
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Anniversary dinner
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/12/2014
    We went here for our anniversary dinner as we both love food and trying new places. Mateo was recommended to me, and I was told it is 1000X better than any other tapas in the area. When we arrived we noticed the restaurant was busy--that's a good sign! The ambiance was lovely--each table had a lit candle. The food was delicious and the price was lower than anticipated!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • DurhamVIP
    Dined on 10/12/2014
    Wonderful food, imaginative combinations. We love this place.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • excellent food
    Addison
    Dined on 10/12/2014
    First experience at Mateo. Excellent food. Loved the ribs! Great atmosphere. Service wasn't ok. Hostess seemed unorganized and server wasn't super friendly. I would recommend to friends.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fantastic!!!
    NCDAD
    Dined on 10/11/2014
    Wow - I had heard that this was a top spot in the Durham/Chapel Hill area. The recommendations were correct, the food is FANTASTIC. Went for dinner on a Saturday night prior to a DPAC show and the place was busy and packed. The Bar was full and energized. But our reservations (you NEED ONE) were right on time and we were lucky (for us) to sit upstairs in the quieter section. The food is perhaps some of the best Tapas (or any food) I have ever had. Each selection was better then the other. Special Praise to the Ribs and the Croquettes. We already made reservations for our next visit when family are in town. Don't miss this place.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/10/2014
    We love Mateo for the flexibility - great place to stop in for a little snack after a show or bring out of town guests for a unique dining experience. This was our 4th visit to Mateo and we'll definitely keep coming back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Yummy
    Zeppelin
    Dined on 10/10/2014
    We went there for a casual Friday dinner and were pleasantly surprised. The food choices are excellent, the ambience and atmosphere is warm and welcoming and the service is quick. The portions are small and we were able to try a few dishes. Their wine and drinks menu is extensive as well. I had "Pepine" which is gin and tonic with pickled cucumbers. It was spectacular. This place is A+
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • EXPECTED MORE
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/10/2014
    The buildup of this place was a little over the top. I would highly recommend the Pato y Arroz and the mushroom toast. They were amazing. The Calamari was also very good but the sauce was just okay. The Banderillas and Croquetas were also okay but nothing special. I would definitely go back and try some more things since I know a couple that are outstanding. I guess I don't like paying for the learning curve, and expected a higher percentage of dishes would wow me with a 4.5 star rating. But the 2 dishes I mentioned were 5 star dishes.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Ace2735
    Dined on 10/9/2014
    The food was decent, but I was sitting so far away from my girlfriend and it was so loud that we felt as if we spent the evening dining alone. The tables were extremely close together as well, so we were bumping elbows with our neighbors, but sitting several feel away from each other. Not a conducive atmosphere for conversation... Especially in f you are on the quieter side.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Worth it
    Travellina
    Dined on 10/7/2014
    Everything is well made, interesting and delicious. Great wine selection. Attentive, knowledgable servers.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent food, poor service
    PearlSays
    Dined on 10/4/2014
    If a dining experience is judged by food only, this is a gem of a place. If, however, service is included in the overall experience, then this is a huge disappointment. The staff was disengaged, disinterested and misinformed on the menu and offerings. They barely dropped off the plates on the table...many times after a long wait and always without any care. Train the staff to engage with the customers and become knowledgeable with the types of food (tapas) being served. Once this happens, this will become a dining destination. Until then, it is a noisy, overpriced and disconnected place to grab a meal
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Great food, service - ok
    lmee101
    Dined on 10/4/2014
    We had reservations and the hostess ignored us when we walked in, she was on the phone and didn't make eye contact. Once she finally looked up I told her we had reservations (it was already 5 minutes past our seating time) and then without explanation she had us wait for another ten minutes. Our waitress only remembered the specials when we asked and she seemed very upset/grumpy and didn't make eye contact at all. I have been there before and the food was great - the duck oversalted though - but the service was truly terrible. We were upstairs, maybe that's why?
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful for a date night!
    deason91
    Dined on 10/4/2014
    We dined in Mateo last Saturday, and were pleased with the prompt and courteous service. This restaurant is perfect for small groups. We really enjoyed sharing wonderful, small dishes.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • great as always
    Jrzy54
    Dined on 10/4/2014
    Another good dining experience with friends. Food was great as usual. The Sangria is our favorite libation and flowed most of the night. The servers agree great...both patient and knowledgeable. We definitely look forward to our next dining experience at Mateo.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good food spotty service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 10/4/2014
    What you Matteo want to Saturday night with two friends. Third time in the restaurant so I was pretty familiar with the menu. The food was excellent the service was slow and spotty.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, late-night find, notable wine list, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • FOOD WAS AWESOME
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/4/2014
    WE HAD A PLEASURABLE EXPERIENCE FOOD WAS GREAT ONLY DOWN SIDE WAS ALL THE UPPITY SOPHISTOS.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Food Experience
    ieatVIP
    Dined on 10/3/2014
    This is our second time at Mateo, and it's definitely worth repeated trips. They offer an eclectic cocktail list, including Sangria. All of the food was fantastic. I would especially recommend the mixed ham charcuterie. Also, their marrow dish is insane.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Amazing food
    Wolfpackguy
    Dined on 10/2/2014
    I took the girlfriend here last week. The food was AMAZING! We had the pulled pork sliders, octopus carpaccio, albondigas (meatballs), chicken croquettes, and pork ribs. The ribs were both of our favorites - a crispy skin with a sweet sauce. I'm glad we tried the octopus, but I wouldn't get it again. It was well-executed, but a bit too smoky for me. The waitress was good but she was definitely busy, so if I had anything critical to say about her service it's that she didn't "sell" any of the items. The only thing critical about the ambience would be that the tables were a bit too close to each other to have an intimate convo without overhearing the people next to us. Overall, a great find and will be visiting again.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Hot Spot
    Gian
    Dined on 10/2/2014
    Everything we ordered was terrific. Seven plates, total, I think. Great service. Strong emphasis on meat was a bit off-putting for us as seafood lovers, but there was plenty to enjoy. Highly recommended. Noisy, but what do you expect at a hot spot?
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Tried and true tasty tapas in Durm
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006VIP
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    This is a go-to for me and a number of friends. Fit for taking friends and family from the big 5 cities of culinary chops (NYC, SF, Chicago, Boston, Miami), who always come away satisfied and/or impressed. My one suggestion would be to figure out a system for honoring larger reservations in a more timely and professional manner (not the best vibes from the female manager w short hair). Also could use an update to the cocktail list every so often (eg, throw in a mescal drink or the like!). All in all a great place.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • If you want something different.
    Carolina
    Dined on 9/26/2014
    Food is very good in general, and flavors are different than most of the other restaurants. It's not 100% real Spanish, but it's still good.
    Special Features:
    notable wine list, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Food
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/26/2014
    The food was very good, but the tables were so close together I felt like I was participating in their conversation. It didn't help that was busy and loud during our dinner, but I guess thats a Friday night at a bar/restaurant in downtown. I will definitly be coming back, but I might try a lunch or later after the crowd has slowed down.
    Special Features:
    hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Mateo raises the bar.
    DurhamSociety
    Dined on 9/26/2014
    The service has always been excellent each time. Call for reservations in advance for anything other than the early seatings. Be adventurous, try the specials. Last visit I had a delicious Pork Milanese and an Ox heart Pastrami boda-something ( small sandwich) Both first rate. I have had some of the best local shrimp in my life there. They are strictly about what is fresh, what is best from local sources. Small plates tapas Main St. /Five points view from the front window seats is great, and I love the respect they have shown for the treasure of Southern Book Exchange, formerly of this site, bu decorating tastefully with old books and shelves, mirrors with an aged dark cloudiness. Absolutely one of Durham's best.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Amazing food
    KDFamily
    Dined on 9/21/2014
    Although I had a hard time reading the menu, our waiter was fantastic and explained everything to us. All I can say is this restaurant has got to be one of the BEST in the area. What the chef does with the ingredients to blend the flavors is amazing and creative. Can not wait to go back. HIGHLY RECOMMEND
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, late-night find, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Mateo es muy bueno
    oltexan
    Dined on 9/20/2014
    We went on a Saturday night during Centerfest and to say the bar scene was 'energetic' is an understatement... noisy as H--- comes more to mind. But the food, very authentic Spanish tapas dishes, were all excellent and I would love to try more of them next time. Prices are quite reasonable. Definitely a keeper and fun, if it's not too crowded. They also have a nice selection of Spanish wines by the glass in true tapas bar fashion. A little touch of old Madrid right here in the Triangle.
    Special Features:
    hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Yummy and special
    RhondaBZ
    Dined on 9/20/2014
    This was my second time dining at Mateo, and it did not disappoint. The food - everything we tried, whether we could pronounce it or not - was delicious. Our server wasn't the most outgoing sort, but we got our food and drinks in a timely manner. Will certainly go back again!
    Special Features:
    special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Exceeded Expectations
    TMSCAdventures
    Dined on 9/19/2014
    Took my parents here on a Friday night, we arrived a little bit before our reservations and had at drink at the bar. The restaurant was very busy and loud but in a fun where you'd want to be way. The hostess was great and we got seated right at our reservation time. We were seated upstairs which was less noisy. The food was amazing, it came out staggered and we had a chance to enjoy everything without being overwhelmed with plates. We were going to order more but the waiter took a little while to get back to us which was okay because by the time we paused we were full! I highly recommend the ribeye, ribs and cured meat plate!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • First time - will be back!
    LauraVIP
    Dined on 9/19/2014
    Wonderful options - virtually everything was excellent. Waiter John R. did not steer us wrong on either wine or plates. Brought by some delicious pepper bites gratis. Noise level very high (couldn't register highest level here online for some reason ) but prompted talking to those seated nearby, good vibe all around. Only caveat was less than welcoming/ friendly environment at host station and a bit of a delay in waiter arrival, which we chalked up to a very busy Saturday night. Great smile from the latter, none from the former, though. Looking forward to being back in a few weeks when we return to Durham, bringing friends... Gracias!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, late-night find, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • super delicious
    sparkles33
    Dined on 9/19/2014
    Wonderful meal; the specials were fantastic. Was able to get two seats at the bar right around 6pm; perfect place for a earlier dinner before catching a show at DPAC. It is still one of my favorite restaurants in Durham.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 9/18/2014
    Creative dishes artfully presented. Great taste combinations. Glad to leave the very noisy environment -- need sound baffles so conversation is easier.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Awesome
    Woogiebear82
    Dined on 9/14/2014
    simply awesome always a great dinning experience. I would definitely recommend this restaurant to anyone. it's a real jewel!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Authentic but with twist
    DoriVIP
    Dined on 9/14/2014
    We went for dinner to mateo! EBay a wonderful place! Service was fantastic and tapas were delicious ! The croquetas, pato con arroz ,sangria, were all so tasty and fresh . Everything on menu including desserts are made to highest standards. There's a southern twist with local ingredients and delicious toppings on some dishes. Must go!!!! Highly recommend
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • sarahwalker
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    The food was delicious at Mateo, but the service was terrible. Our waiter seemed to have forgotten about us most of the evening, and we missed out on many opportunities to order more small plates.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.